By Melody Birkett | September 15, 2021
Raymond Jimenez opened Tacos & Hot Dogs Los Mayitos in Mesa in April 2021 with an eye toward elevating diners’ taco and hot dog experiences.
The restaurant serves up more Sonoran-style food, but Jimenez says the birria (Mexican stewed meat) recipes are from the family in Tijuana.
“It’s not spicy but it has a lot of flavors,” Jimenez says. “We have quesabirriam which people love. It’s basically a tortilla dipped into a thick red sauce with our special cheese and meat. We start early in the morning around 4 am to start cooking it up. It takes about six to seven hours.”
American favorites with a twist include hot dogs, hamburgers and French fries. No seafood is served but chicken, beef and pork.
“We elevated it a little bit but people seem to like the twists we’ve done with things,” Jimenez says. “As far as our Sonoran hot dogs, we have one with chili (ChileDOGO) and we have a pregnant dog (Dogo Ebarazado) stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon. People love that one.”
For those with less-than-elevated tastes, the restaurant near Gilbert and Broadway roads will accommodate customers’ tastes.
“We can do anything custom-made because everything is fresh,” Jimenez says. “We don’t have anything pre-made. We don’t freeze anything. Everything is handmade and made the day of.”
His mother-in-law and wife do a lot of the prep work but he and his brother-in-law do most of the cooking.
A popular Sonoran nonbaked dessert is Pastel de Galletas, made with Mexican crackers.
The menu is written in Spanish with English translations.
“There’s such a local Latin American community around here but we’ve had a surplus of English-speaking customers so we’re revamping our menu,” says Jimenez, adding the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner. “We love it and they love our food.”
Jimenez also likes to take suggestions from guests.
“They advise us what we should add so we take all of that to heart. We want to not just throw it out there but perfect our recipes. Everything else we have on the menu, so far, has been great.”
A lot of customers are asking for enchiladas, chimichangas, enchilada-style burritos and combo plates with rice and beans. For dessert, Jimenez is getting a lot of requests for churros.
He got a lot of ideas for the current menu from the food truck his daughter and wife used to own.
“A lot of customers asked for tacos,” Jimenez says. “The kids loved the hot dogs but also some adults. They don’t have to go to different places. You can get it all here at one place.”
Jimenez worked for the Sheraton for 14 years in their restaurant, doing banquets. Currently, he’s a security operations manager in the morning. When the opportunity came to open this restaurant, he decided to go for it.
“We got a good deal on this place,” Jimenez says. “It’s now or never. We had some savings so we decided to go all out for this place,” adding he hopes to eventually make it his full-time job.
“We’re growing month to month. We’re getting a lot of great feedback on Yelp and on Google reviews. People love our food.”
Tacos & Hot Dogs Los Mayitos
330 S. Gilbert Road, Mesa